4. Common Ground at the Plaza at 300 Ashland

Common Ground public art installation
Common Ground at the Plaza at 300 Ashland. Photo by Cameron Baylock for Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

Located at the Plaza at 300 Ashland, Brooklyn, is Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong’s Common Ground. A site-specific, interactive public artwork, Common Ground consists of a colorful seating landscape and floor motifs that dance across the plaza. Inspiration for this installation was derived from the geometry present within shrines and sacred spaces, transforming the space into a welcoming site for socializing day and night.

At night, Common Ground is illuminated with color-changing lighting and sensors that register environmental audio. In response to nearby sounds, light animations shimmer across the sculpture—with these sounds ranging from the hum of traffic to the voices of passersby. Blending with the colors of the topography, the nighttime lights play with our perception of color. Lighting design and programming were completed by Xena Petkanas and Christoph Gisel. Part of the Van Alen Institute’s Public Realm R+D program and co-produced with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Common Ground can be viewed through May 1, 2023.